Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

EI Claims Surge

The worst news in today’s Employment Insurance (EI) figures is that new benefit claims hit a record high. Rising numbers of unemployed workers and hence EI beneficiaries are an unsurprising result of a deteriorating labour market. However, the increase the number of new EI claims suggests that the pace of deterioration is worsening rather than easing. Despite signs of a nascent recovery of economic output, today’s figures suggest that Canada’s job market will remain grim for some time to come.

Benefit Coverage

This outlook underscores the issue of whether workers unemployed through no fault of their own will have access to EI benefits. The silver lining in today’s release is that, for the first time since the recession began, slightly more than half of unemployed Canadians appear to be receiving EI benefits.

However, in May, seasonal adjustment reduced the official unemployment figure and increased the EI-beneficiary figure. Unadjusted figures (see below) indicate that fewer than half of unemployed Canadians received benefits.

Further layoffs of long-service employees will tend to increase this proportion. But the fact that some workers who had received benefits will soon begin to run out of benefits could have the opposite effect.

EI coverage can and should be increased by reducing the number of work hours needed to qualify for benefits and by extending the weeks of benefits available to those who do qualify. Last week, Statistics Canada released a study of EI coverage. It reports that in 2008, which mostly predates the economic crisis, more than 100,000 workers who would otherwise have been eligible for EI benefits did not receive them because they had not been employed for the number of hours required in their region.

 Employment Insurance Coverage, May 2009 (seasonally-adjusted figures)

 

EI Recipients 

Unemployment  

Coverage 

Canada   

778.7   

1,548.4   

50.3 %   

Newfoundland   

41.2   

37.7   

109.2 %   

PEI  

8.9  

10.4   

85.6 %   

Nova Scotia  

33.1 

44.1   

75.1 %  

New Brunswick   

35.6 

35.1   

101.4 %  

Quebec   

206.7  

366.0   

56.5 % 

Ontario  

274.1  

670.7  

40.9 %   

Manitoba   

15.8 

31.0 

51.0 % 

Saskatchewan   

14.0  

27.1   

51.7 %  

Alberta  

57.0  

141.8   

40.2 %  

BC 

88.2 

184.5  

47.8 %  

 
Demographic Breakdown

Statistics Canada expanded today’s EI release to subdivide beneficiaries by age and gender. This breakdown was based on figures unadjusted for seasonality.

While the release highlighted the fact that more youth are receiving benefits, the proportion is still extremely low. Young workers who recently entered the workforce have the most difficulty accumulating enough hours to qualify for EI benefits. For similar reasons, unemployed women are even less likely than unemployed men to receive benefits.

Employment Insurance Coverage, May 2009 (unadjusted figures)

 

EI Recipients 

Unemployment  

Coverage 

Total  

718.2  

1,612.0 

44.6 %  

Men 25+  

421.6  

670.7  

62.9 %  

Women 25+ 

215.7  

416.0  

51.9 %  

Youth 

81.0  

525.3  

15.4 %   

 UPDATE (July 29): Quoted by The Toronto Star

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: July 28, 2009, 11:58 am

Hey Erin,

Didn’t you hear the recession is over! Why are you going on about these numbers, don;t you know that employment is the last variable to come out of the recession. It is a lagging indicator, and therefore we have nothing to fear.

At least that has been the analysis so far being put out by every media economist this morning.

It is quite a beast how the analytical mind of the media seems to be working through the numbers.

Don;t worry, seems to be the catch phrase of the day.

Denial and window dressing to help prop the tories up in the public opinion polls is more likely what is behind the message.

Comment from Colleen Moore
Time: August 10, 2009, 6:38 pm

How do you know when the recession is over? What is the best indicator? What the Tories have to say or better yet the BC Liberals?
Employment is a great indicator of the recession being over and BC is at an all time high with loads and loads of unemployed immigrants. Olympic’s was looking for cash today siting the recession and British Columbians are on the hook for more cash for a recession that is supposed to be over.

Write a comment





Related articles